Friday, June 4, 2021

Making Up For Nature's Occasional Quirks

Achieving success is dependent on a great number of factors all coming together: financial muscle, human resource, dedication, hard work, perseverance, commitment, experience, knowledge and wisdom. And yet, even if you do have all that at your command, there is every chance of failure.

On the other hand, dismantling a great evil requires nothing much – only courage and willingness to perform ones duty and obligation. If we are able to dismantle evil, good will definitely prevail – there is no chance of failure.

This is what I said in one of my earlier articles on this Blog – that since achieving greatness seems a remote possibility given what we are, let us shift gear and work at dismantling evil that is hindering progress and growth. We have gotten into the bad habit of missing the forest for the trees.

All these thoughts came flooding back into my mind when I stopped by the following display board erected at Dochu-La, yeserday afternoon on my way back from visiting a project site in Wangduephodrang:

The huge display board at Dochu-La. A collaborative work between the TCB and the Rotary Club of Thimphu. The display board depicts all the peaks of the Eastern Himalayan mountain range that can be viewed from Dochu-La on a clear day.

A close-up of the Display Board containing full information depicted on it. More than two years since its installation, I am glad to note that the board has not faded, mainly because of the media used in its printing.

There is no denying that Dochu-La is the most visited tourist site in Bhutan – more than 95% of all tourists visiting Bhutan drive up to Dochu-La pass. By contrast, the much-touted Taktsang provably does not get even 20% of the tourists, given its location.

Visitors drive up to Dochu-La with only one purpose in mind – to view the great expanse of the snow-capped Eastern Himalayan mountain range. Unfortunately, most of the time clouds that blanket the mountain range block the view. It is painful to see the look of disappointment on the faces of the tourists. Although every body must accept that nothing is certain in nature, it is incumbent upon us, the hosts, to try and make up, if we can, for nature’s occasional quirks. Thus I requested the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) to install a large display board depicting the full mountain range that can be viewed from Dochu-La, on a clear day. I offered to provide the necessary photograph - free of cost, including the supervision of the printing of the image, and construction and installation of the board. They agreed and thus the huge display board came up - as it stands now - so that on days when the mountain range is not visible, the visitors can walk over to the display board and see the view that they missed.

Now, hopefully, the visitors will moan: Awwwww ---- we missed it!! Instead of cursing: Awwwww ---- what a waste of time!!

Let us learn humility in doing small things, which we can - so that big things, which we are unable to, could fall into place.

One small but meaningful dismantling has been the removal of the Immigration gate at Hongtsu. I have been going hoarse asking for its removal because it was stupid to harass the tourists going up to Dochu-La to stop and make entry at the gate. After all, Dochu-La is within the same Thimphu Dzongkhag. Incredible as it may sound, it has taken many decades for the decision makers to see the folly of their decision - but I see that the gate has finally been removed.

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